Chloe KelleyBack to Blog

Pre-MBA, I was a fixed income portfolio manager at a Black-owned investment management firm in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a great role and a great firm, but I came to a point in my career where I knew it was time to move on. I decided to apply to business school and thought, hey, let’s see what happens. By the time I gave my resignation, I still didn’t know whether or not I got in. I decided to travel with my now husband (who had also quit his job and applied to business school) regardless of the outcome. We bought one-way tickets to Panama. About 10 days before we were due to fly out, I was accepted into the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. This was great news because 1) I got in – yay – and 2) it meant I had something to do right after traveling. We spent the next six weeks backpacking across Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua – we knew just enough Spanish to get by. It was an incredible experience to just show up, live in a place and get to know the people. We met so many strangers along the way who were kind and generous which made all the difference. I think it’s important to take risks and try new things. Quitting my job without anything to fall back on seems crazy – even today my parents aren’t sure if that was a good idea – but I had to trust my gut. I have to remind myself that a little discomfort can lead to tremendous growth.